Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Michael Anthony Zerwas ’75

Michael Anthony Zerwas ’75 died from hypothermia in January 2010, in his backyard in Portland. The circumstances of his death were as mysterious as they were tragic. His body was discovered in a pit, which was filled with water, and a pair of green gardening shoes were found nearby. Detectives concluded that the pit, which was five feet wide and 35 feet deep, may have been an old cistern that had been covered and forgotten over time. The cistern's covering of board and dirt collapsed under Mike, and created an inescapable pit. Mike earned a BA from Reed in anthropology and worked as an investigator for the Metropolitan Public Defender in Portland for 20 years. According to his website, Gumshoe (, he had been a private investigator since 2005.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2010

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